Our Leadership



Director
The Director’s role that the health and wellbeing of the school and the community we serve by ensuring that our practice in all domains is aligned with our mission and guiding statements.
 
The Director is also the operational head of the school. The Director is responsible for organising activities of the school, hiring, dismissing and supervising of all staff, issuing and approving procedures, regulations and orders, entering into transactions on behalf of the school, safeguarding assets of the school, representing the public interest of the school, fulfilling reporting obligations, and providing information on school activities.
 
Meet our Director
 
Rebecca Juras has led VIS through two renovation projects, authorization as an IB World School, Cambridge Interantional centre approval, and accreditation by the Council of International Schools. During her tenure at VIS, the student body grew from 25 to almost 500 students and the staff from 8 to almost 90. 
Upper School Principal

Dr. Asta Balkutė returned to Lithuania after 10 years at Purdue University in Indiana where she completed a Ph.D in Social Studies Education. While at Purdue University she actively worked with pre-service teachers. Before joining VIS she served as a chair for the youth services and affairs at Vilnius City Administration. Her broad experience includes promoting youth empowerment through student-led civics projects, developing teacher competencies and leading  international research projects. She has a passion for children’s literature, especially picture books which inspire her to view the world through the eyes of a young learner. 

Upper School Curriculum Coordinator
The role of Upper School Curriculum Coordinator is that of a leader of learning and as such she is a member of the school leadership team. Currently, the Upper School Curriculum Coordinator role extends beyond curriculum responsibilities. These additional duties include: supporting the professional growth and efficacy of teaching staff; conducting interviews of potential hires; contributing to the development of school policies related to teaching and learning; communicating school policy and procedure to the teaching staff; coordinating and in some instances, serving as a model of the school culture by promoting and celebrating the values and philosophy that underpin good professional practice; and actively working to build relevance between the VIS guiding statements and everything we do as a school community.
 
Meet our Upper School Curriculum Coordinator – Deirdre Jennings
 
Deirdre Jennings has led teachers in developing and implementing the Upper School curriculum in her role as Upper School Curriculum Coordinator at VIS for the number of years. Deirdre also teaches integrated sciences and Cambridge International physics. Prior to coming to VIS, Deirdre worked at international schools in Tanzania and Kuwait. 
Primary School Principal/ PYP Coordinator
Primary School Principal/Coordinator is that of a leader of learning and as such he/she is a member of the school leadership team. PYP Coordinator role extends beyond curriculum responsibilities to include the duties of a Primary School Principal. These additional duties include: supporting the professional growth and efficacy of the PYP teaching staff; conducting interviews of potential hires; contributing to the development of school policies related to teaching and learning; communicating school policy and procedure to relevant teaching staff; coordinating and in some instances, facilitating weekly PYP meetings; serving as a model of the school culture by promoting the values and philosophy that underpin good professional practice; and actively working to build relevance between the VIS guiding statements and everything we do as a school community.
 
Meet our Primary School Principal/PYP Coordinator – Kate Benson
 
During her 20 years as an educator, Kate Benson has had the privilege of working with students on four continents as a teacher, Technology Coordinator, PYP Coordinator and Assistant Principal. Kate Benson holds a Master’s degree in Cross Cultural teaching with a focus on multilingualism. She is passionate about supporting educators in developing student agency in order for children to find personal relevance in their work and become active participants in their learning. 
Meeting of Stakeholders
There are three levels of school governance. The school is governed by the Meeting of Stakeholders (founders) whose authority is outlined in the school bylaws. The bylaws reflect the standard Lithuanian governance relationship of non-profit public institutions.
 
The Meeting of Stakeholders is responsible for changing the by-laws of the school, hiring and dismissing the Director, electing and recalling the School Council, approving annual financial reports of the school, setting the school fee guidelines, approving information made available to the public and reorganisation or liquidation of the school.
 
The Meeting of Stakeholders also considers the annual budget of the school, audit and selection of auditor and other questions pertaining to the competence of the Stakeholders Meeting
 
Meet our Stakeholders
 
Rebecca Juras has served as Director of Vilnius International School for more that 8 years. In addition to working in an administrative role, Rebecca has taught kindergarten, fourth grade and humanities at the school.  She received a B.A from Macalester College and a Master of Education from the University of Virginia. 
 
Liisa Leitzinger is from Finland, where she studied law and marketing. She began her career working with patents and trademarks at an intellectual property firm. Liisa moved to Lithuania in 1995 and graduated from the history faculty at Vilnius University. Her diploma work concerned the 1918 – 1940 political relations between Finland and Lithuania.
 
Liza Lerche Jensen is a co-founder of Vilnius International School. She and her husband are entrepreneurs who started numerous businesses in manufacturing, retail and real estate sectors in Lithuania.  These include UAB Metalco and UAB Living Scandinavian Design.  Liza currently lives in California with her husband and two sons, Kasper and Nicholas.
 
Torben Pedersen is from Denmark and has lived in the Baltics for over 20 years, finally settling in Lithuania. He works in field of audit and financial management and serves on the Board of Directors of several companies.  
School Council
The bylaws also provide for a five-member advisory School Council who serve a two-year term. The role of the School Council includes community oversight of the School, long-term development responsibilities, reviewing school financial reports, and providing strategic recommendations for the upcoming period of activity to the Head of School.
 
Any member of the school community is eligible to become a member of the School Council through election/approval by the Meeting of Stakeholders. The bylaws stipulate that the School Council must meet at least once a quarter.
 
 
Meet our School Council Members
 
We have the pleasure of introducing four new members to the VIS School Council. They include: Dr. Nerijus Mačiulis, Inna Berezkina, Dr. Ieva Jovaišienė and Alexandrina Satnoianu
 
 
Parent Teacher Association
 
The school has a formal organisation called the Parent Teacher Association, or PTA, which is comprised of a group of active parents. The PTA serves a public relations and outreach function by helping organize school, parent community outreach, charitable and other similar activities. 
 
Ongoing events include monthly coffee mornings, quarterly parent education events, and quarterly parent social evenings.  The PTA also organizes and International Family Picnic and Yard Sale on the first Saturday of June.